I really hope that the action and humor in this book by Gail Carriger continue with the rest of her series because I really enjoyed it! Alexia Tarabotti is a pretenatural, she has no soul. She is the oldest of three girls, 26-years old, a spinster. The BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry) has tried to keep her existence quiet but her files were stolen by the Hypocras Club, an organization trying to learn how to create their own supernaturals. The head of the club, Mr. Siemons, explains why she is so special.
Mr. Siemons stopped blowing smoke in Miss Tarabotti's face and blew it instead at the American scientist. "This young lady is a preternatural: a Homo exanimus. We have been looking for her since we first deduced her existence here in London. Which, I might add, was only shortly after finding out that preternaturals existed at all. Of course, if you follow the couterbalance theorem, her kind seems perfectly logical. I am surprised we never before thought to look. And, of course, we knew the supernatural set had ancient legends pertaining to certain dangerous creatures that were born to hunt them. The werewolves have their curse-breakers, the vampires their soul-suckers, and the ghosts their exorcists. But we did not know they were all the same organism and that that organism was a scientific fact, not a myth. They are startingly uncommon, as it turns out. Miss Tarabotti here is a rare beast, indeed."
Alexia shares her attraction to the head werewolf, Lord Maccon, and he to her, much to the shock and amazement of her family who had given up on her getting married. In this excerpt one can see the humor that comes with the Victorian setting.
"Well, my love" said Alexia with prodigious daring to Lord Maccon, "shall we?"
The earl started to move forward and then stopped abruptly and looked down at her, not moving at all. "Am I?"
"Are you what?" She peeked up at him through her tangled hair, pretending confusion. There was no possible way she was going to make this easy for him.
"Well, you are a werewolf, Scottish, naked, and covered in fbood, and I am still holding your hand."
He sighed in evident relief. "Good. That is settled, then."
I am looking forward for to reading the rest of this series with great relish.
My rating for this book: ++++